By Rod Fuller
After an exhilarating victory in last year’s Port Macquarie Cup, Sofin heads the chances in the Stowe Australia Cup Prelude to be conducted at Port this Sunday.
The Shannon Fry trained galloper won this race last year before easily accounting for a quality field in the 2016 feature with a comprehensive 5 length victory.
The Casino Prince mare always saves her best for the track with a record of 4 wins and 4 placings from 10 appearances and with the advantage of promising young apprentice, Cejay Graham’s 2kg claim looks well placed. Sofin was not disgraced in the listed Wyong Cup two weeks ago and with placings in the Wauchope and South Grafton Cups in June and July, seems to have the ideal preparation for a race of this prestige.
The Michael Byers trained mare, Who Is Game, comes in well at the weights and was responsible for a strong win in the Tuncurry Cup last week.
Form prior is solid at Taree during the recent carnival and the Youthful Legs mare is a horse improving with every run, who should handle the step up in class.
Other horses with good prospects include Egyptian Ruler and the locally trained Stravinsky gelding, Glitra.
Egyptian Ruler was not disgraced when a positive second in the Taree Cup behind Pirate Ben and his last start run at Rosehill was full of merit.
The John Sprague trained galloper Glitra, won the Taree Cup prelude in early August and his run in the Ballina Cup behind Cashing Up was a solid performance.
With first and second placed runners exempt from the ballot from the Port Macquarie Cup, there is plenty on the line and the club is delighted with the quality of the prelude and the supporting races.
The state’s leading trainer, Kris Lees, looks to have strong chances throughout the program and should start in a positive manner with Miss Kyeema set to break her maiden status in the opening race.
The Denman filly has been placed at her last two starts at Tamworth and was only beaten narrowly over 1400 metres a couple of weeks ago.
The stable’s most interesting runner appears in the second event when Tycoon Street steps out for her debut run. The Written Tycoon filly is beautifully bred and ran a creditable second in a trial run at Wyong two weeks ago to prepare for this first up appearance.
Face Like Thunder does look the testing material in the last race after a strong win in a Benchmark 55 at Tuncurry two weeks ago and benefits with a three kilogram claim for Louise Day.
Other horses to follow on the program include the Tracey Bartley trained, Shepley in the third, the former Victorian Paco Express for Neil Godbolt in race 4 and Curley Mac in the Benchmark 60. With the prospect of fine weather conditions and a good track, all roads lead to Port Macquarie this Sunday with patrons able to enjoy great bar, catering and wagering facilities with spacious lawn areas for families.
The club would like to acknowledge the continued support of major sponsor for the Cup Prelude, Stowe Australia with races also named in honour of Lear and Smith and NHP.
A further reminder that the Port Macquarie Cup on Friday 6th October has been selected by Racing NSW for an increase in overall prizemoney to $150,000 and this will provide a solid platform for such a pinnacle event on the country racing calendar.
By granting showcase status for the program, minimum prizemoney for support races have been increased to $30,000 per race and total prizemoney for the day has climbed to a massive $390,000.
The Carlton Draught Port Macquarie Cup is complimented by the $50,000 feature sprint and leading horses, trainers and jockeys from all around the state are expected to flock to the area for the program.
The carnival concludes with Steeline race day on Saturday 7th October 2017.
Race 1: Lear & Smith Port Macquarie Maiden Plate 1506m
11 Miss Kyeema, 2 Field Helmet, 4 Golden Words
Race 2: NHP F&M Maiden Hcp
5 Tycoon Street, 1 Classy Anna, 4 Tootz
Race 3: Stowe Poles & Wires CG&E Maiden Hcp 1106m
4 Shepley, 5 Herebaneek, 7 Yambaah Gold
Race 4: WWW.STOWEAUSTRALIA.COM.AU Class 1 Hcp 1206m
2 Paco Express, 3 The Baker, 4 Serious Star
Race 5: NHP Electrical Engineering Products BM60 Hcp 1206m
1 Curley Mac, 4 Dylan’s Dynasty
Race 6: Stowe Australia Port Macquarie Cup Prelude 1812m
4 Who Is Game, 2 Egyptian Ruler, 1 Sofin
Race 7: Fulton Industries Australia BM55 Hcp 1506m
2 Face Like Thunder, 3 Yambaah Prince, 1 Big On Fame